Finding the Perfect Motorcycle for New Riders in 2023
Finding the Perfect Motorcycle for New Riders in 2023
1w ago Others
Sponsored by Moto Animals

Are you thinking about starting your motorcycle journey, but feeling overwhelmed by the options and choices? You're not alone. Getting started with your first motorcycle can be a daunting task, with salespeople and private sellers all vying for your attention. Without a trusted advisor, it's challenging to determine which motorcycles are ideal for absolute beginners in 2023. As someone who has grown my weekend riding group from three to a dozen riders over the years, I've gathered valuable insights that I'd like to share with you.

Let's address a few key points upfront. While a second-hand motorcycle is often a more affordable choice, it may not always be the most inclusive one. Haggling with a Craigslist seller and attempting a mechanical inspection may not be your cup of tea, especially if you're just dipping your toes into the world of motorcycles.

Opting for a brand-new motorcycle from a reputable dealer offers peace of mind. You know exactly what you're getting, and a trusted dealer can provide support for parts and maintenance. While buying new isn't always the best option, it can be the right choice when you're starting your motorcycle journey independently.

Remember, motorcycles are not one-size-fits-all. Consider your physical strength and height before falling in love with a big Harley-Davidson or a rugged KTM. Your comfort on the bike should take precedence over its image. Factors like the bike's size, weight, ergonomic controls, and seat height play a crucial role in your riding experience. Now that I've shared some wisdom, let's explore some excellent motorcycle options for beginners.

Best All-Rounder: Yamaha XT250

29164164ff47b9f1578.pngThe Yamaha XT250 is a remarkably accessible motorcycle suitable for various riding environments. With its super-low 32.7-inch seat height, air-cooled simplicity, and a slim curb weight of 291 pounds, it's an excellent choice, particularly for smaller riders. The 249 cc, SOHC four-stroke single engine may produce a modest 19 hp, but it offers an enjoyable riding experience, especially on winding roads. While it may not be designed for highways, it can handle them comfortably, reaching speeds over 75 mph.


The XT250's equipment is straightforward, featuring user-friendly controls and an LCD display. The fuel-injected engine starts with the press of a button, and the bike's cable-operated clutch and hydraulic disc brakes provide smooth, predictable braking. The low seat height allows most riders to confidently place both feet on the ground, boosting confidence, whether you're learning the ropes or venturing off-road.

Priced at $5,299, the 2023 Yamaha XT250 is an affordable and versatile motorcycle suitable for various riding scenarios.

Best Café Hopper: Honda Rebel 300


If you prefer pavement-oriented riding and a relaxed riding posture, the Honda Rebel 300 is an excellent choice. Its 286 cc liquid-cooled single engine powers several Honda models, offering a comfortable and confidence-inspiring experience. The Rebel boasts a low 27-inch saddle height, reducing strain at stops and providing a relaxed riding position.

The Rebel 300's manageable curb weight of 364 pounds, combined with a low center of gravity, makes it stable and easy to handle in various situations. While its 25 hp output may not make it a powerhouse, it's still enjoyable and capable of reaching nearly 100 mph in sixth gear.

Priced at just $4,749 for the non-ABS model, the Honda Rebel 300 is an affordable cruiser option, perfect for those who prioritize comfort and ergonomics.

Best Beginner Sport Nakeds: Yamaha MT-03, BMW G 310 R, and Honda CB300R


For riders interested in sporty street riding, the 300 cc class offers several excellent options, including the Yamaha MT-03, BMW G 310 R, and Honda CB300R. These bikes feature aggressive styling, sharp handling, and accessible entry points into the world of sporty street riding. With seat heights between 30 and 31 inches, manageable weight, and low centers of gravity, they cater to a wide range of riders, especially those of slightly below-average height.

All three models are competitively priced, offering standard features like inverted forks, single disc brakes, and modern LED lighting. Each has its unique appeal, so the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Best Beginner Dirt Bikes: Kawasaki KLX300 and Honda CRF300L
26553164ff4f8833280.pngIf you have access to dirt roads and off-road trails, small cc enduro bikes can provide an affordable way to explore the great outdoors. The Kawasaki KLX300 and Honda CRF300L are two compelling options, both offering enough power and suspension for off-road adventures.

Choosing between them depends on personal preference. The Honda CRF300L excels on pavement, providing a smoother ride and feeling more planted at highway speeds. On the other hand, the Kawasaki KLX300 shines in off-road situations, offering a more controlled suspension feel. Keep in mind that the KLX300 comes at a slightly higher price point, selling for $6,199 compared to the CRF's $5,399 for the non-ABS models.

For beginner riders, both the CRF300L and KLX300 offer predictable and enjoyable performance. However, their 35-inch seat height may be too high for riders under 5'6", so consider your height when making a choice.

What About Mini-Motos?
In the realm of mini-motorcycles, options like the Monkey, Grom, TNT135, and Z125 Pro offer affordability, ease of handling, and sheer fun. These bikes are perfect for buzzing around town and tackling backroads. However, they come with some limitations, including reduced visibility in traffic and smaller brakes and suspension components.

While mini-motos are a blast to ride, it's essential to be aware of these factors, especially if you're new to motorcycling. Full-size motorcycles have their advantages, so consider your riding environment and preferences when making a decision.

In conclusion, finding the right motorcycle as a beginner rider can be a challenging but rewarding process. Consider your riding style, physical attributes, and comfort preferences when choosing the perfect bike to kickstart your motorcycle journey in 2023.


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